Michigan State junior forward Branden Dawson will play Saturday versus Illinois, according to Tom Izzo.

Dawson has been sidelined with a broken hand since Jan. 23 and has missed nine straight games. No. 18 Michigan State (22-6, 11-4) has gone 4-5 with Dawson on the bench.

"(Dawson) is going to play with a little bit of a brace on that doesn't seem like it affects a lot of things, but it still is there," Izzo said. "How much I play him, I have no clue. Like Morris Peterson, he'll have to defend and rebound in order to play. Last couple days he's shot the ball better than he has been shooting it."

Dawson is the final Michigan State starter to return to the lineup from injury this season. Most notably, senior forward Adreian Payne missed seven games with a sprained foot and senior point guard Keith Appling missed three games with a sprained wrist.

Dawson averaged 10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game prior to the injury. In his last game on Jan. 21, Dawson had 13 points and nine rebounds in a 71-66 win over Indiana. His 8.7 boards per game still rank No. 1 on the team.

Dawson has practiced in a limited capacity since Tuesday and will practice full-go at Thursday's practice.